West Ham confirm player will miss Freiburg and it gives David Moyes an unwelcome dilemma

David Moyes now has an unwanted Europa League conundrum because West Ham United has confirmed a player will miss Freiburg.

In their second Europa League group match on Thursday night, West Ham is preparing to face Bundesliga team Freiburg.

The Hammers took control of Group A after defeating FK TSC Backa Topola of Serbia 3-1 in the opening round, while Freiburg defeated Olympiacos 3-2 on the road.

After being barred by UEFA from the match, West Ham will not have any supporters accompany them when they go to Germany.

As we reported here on Hammers News, a cauldron, awful pitch and top team which bears many similarities to West Ham awaits David Moyes and his players.

Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga
Photo by Neil Baynes/Getty Images

West Ham confirm player will miss Freiburg and it gives David Moyes an unwelcome dilemma

We also warned Moyes will have to field a very strong team if he wants to come away from the 35k capacity Europa-Park stadium with a positive result.

The Scot has traditionally made sweeping changes for European group games in recent seasons to spread game time out amongst his squad.

But West Ham are in a tough group and will have to field key players if they are to make the last 16.

To that end Moyes faces something of a problem despite having a near fully fit squad.

Because West Ham have confirmed a player will miss Freiburg and it gives Moyes an unwelcome dilemma.

West Ham United FC v FK TSC Backa Topola: Group A - UEFA Europa League 2023/24
Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Cresswell ruled out of Germany trip

The club’s preview of the game on its official website notes that left-back Aaron Cresswell is still sidelined due to injury.

Cresswell, a backup left back, sustained the injury when he only played for one half against TSC Backa Topola in the opening Europa League group match two weeks ago after getting the start.

“Aaron Cresswell remains the only absentee, having missed the last couple of games due to a hamstring injury,” the website states.

It causes a problem for the manager.


Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

Big risk either way against tough opposition

Does he run the risk of starting Emerson Palmieri, West Ham’s left defender of choice?

Or does he rest Emerson and start Ben Johnson at left-back, which is risky in and of itself considering the player’s recent inability to deliver performances up to par?

In the Carabao Cup victory over Lincoln last week, Johnson was regarded to have performed admirably at left-back. But that was a matchup with a League One team in the middle of the pack.

Emerson’s lung-busting performances down the left have made him essential for West Ham, but you can’t swaddle players in cotton wool.

If he couldn’t play in Premier League games, it would be a big problem.

It would be a major issue were he not to be available for Premier League games.

These are the big calls Moyes is paid to make. And he has got most of them right when juggling West Ham’s domestic and European fixtures over the last three seasons.

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